Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Saturday declared a state of disaster for six counties as wildfires this week have killed six people and thousands of cattle and burned 325,000 acres in his state.
Three of the six people killed were ranchers who were desperately trying to save their cattle. Four people died in Texas, another in Oklahoma and another in Kansas, according to local ABC13.
“This week’s wildfires have had a devastating impact on a significant portion of the Texas Panhandle,” said Abbott in prepared statement. “Texans have always been resilient in their response to disasters and this time will be no different.”
The governor also thanked first responders and asked all Texans to pray for those affected.
“Cecilia and I thank all the first responders who are working tirelessly to help all those affected, and we continue to ask that all Texans keep the Panhandle community and the families of the victims of this disaster in their thoughts,” Abbott said.
The counties declared disaster areas are Gray, Hemphill, Lipscomb, Ochitree, Roberts and Wheeler.
In addition to the disaster declaration, Abbott has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to activate the agency’s emergency loan program to help eligible farmers and ranchers rebuild and recover from losses sustained by the devastating wildfires.
The Texas Corn Producers organization, which offers resources for the state’s farmers, tweeted out ways people can help those affected in Texas, including donating feed for livestock and monetary donations.
The Texas Cattle Feeder’s Association indicated there are more than 5,000 cattle in immediate need of hay and feed supplies.
The Texas Farm Bureau has also set up a relief fund for helping those affected by the Panhandle wildfires, according to their website.